It’s been just over 90 days since the #TheShowMustBePaused black out, organised by Jamila Thomas of Atlantic Records and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon, forced the music industry to stop, reflect and take action against long-standing racism and inequality.
Now, the initiative has published a series of demands, laid out as a clear set of “actionable items”, which it says “reflect the collective takeaways of a braintrust composed of the current and future leaders of our field.” Their demands apply to all organisations that operate in the world of Black music (which is to say, most of the music industry), and they request a response from them within 30 days.
The “actionable items” are a series of questions, targets, and actions for businesses to initiate. They focus on structural change and aim to hold the industry to account around transparency, accountability of actions, recruitment, civic engagement, and more.
Ideas around boardroom transparency, business accountability, and professional development were also floated by Keith Harris, Estée Blu, and Mulika Sannie in the Music Ally TV show that followed the original #TheShowMustBePaused day, and these demands are intended to form a coordinated global approach to the challenge ahead.
Since the original Black Out Tuesday on 2nd June, many music businesses earmarked funds to promote change, made structural changes, and held discussion events. But change happens over time, and these demands intend to bring long-term accountability to the industry.
The world is a turbulent place, and as glib as it sounds, there are a lot of uniquely important and fundamental global issues competing for attention. So this set of clear, actionable steps is not simply intended to draw attention back to the topic, but to provide a blueprint for making meaningful change stick. Let’s see what has happened in 30 days’ time.